Hara Hara Shankara, Jaya Jaya Shankara

Hara Hara Shankara, Jaya Jaya Shankara

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Why Rama acted Thus - Part 2

Rama's Act

Another famous accusation for Rama was that HE sent Sita to the forest when she was pregnant. As if giving her an agni pariksha was not sufficient, he fell prey to the low minded thought of his own people. Didn’t HE have the confidence in Sita’s chastity? Was it not wrong on his part to suspect her purity?

A king must always know the state of affairs of the people and the kingdom regularly so that he can be a just and a good king. When Rama asked his ministers what opinion his subjects had about his rule and if his people were happy, his ministers updated him about it. Apart from the positive side of his rule, they also mentioned that people were wondering how Rama, the great and just king took back Sita who was touched by Ravana. How did HE accept Sita who was in Ravana’s kingdom for a year. The citizens felt that they were given a free hand to overlooking any wrong deeds done by their wives and women could get away with all misdeeds as their own king had accepted his wife.

Now, what do we expect a king to do? Ignore these words and sacrifice his dharma for the sake of the love for his wife? Allow the society to behave as it wants by setting an example of being one. Rama always stuck to dharma. Any doubt he had, he would refer to the rule books of dharma shastras for clarity. In order to protect a family, one must give up the member of the family, to protect a village, you must sacrifice a family, to protect a kingdom, one must sacrifice a village and so on. If for example, the son of PM is kidnapped by terrorists and ask the release of a highly wanted terrorist as ransom, would we agree to the prime minister accepting the deal and release the hard core terrorist.  Emotions always take a back seat in a country’s administration. 

Rama was not just a husband. HE was a king. And a king must put his subjects and their welfare before anything in this world. If he had ignored the people’s comment, then HE would set a bad precedent to his successors. A society flourishes only when women in the kingdom are chaste, respected and protected. That kingdom ceases to be a prosperous land where women have lost their character and live as they want. We must not think in terms of Sita’s feelings as a human being. She is Mahalakshmi thayar who has come to this world to show how a  woman must conduct herself as a daughter, as a wife and as a mother. So, Rama did justify his act as a king. Let us go beyond petty human emotions and look at it as an act done in the interest of the kingdom.

One must also appreciate the emotional pain Rama had to undergo after having separated from his beloved. HE was caught in between the love for his wife and his duty as a king. In the absence of Sita, he conducted an ashwamedha yaga. A yaga is not complete without the wife. If he wanted, he could have married again and fulfilled the yaga. But Rama made a golden statue of Sita. As a Kshatriya he is eligible to marry more than one princess. But he stuck to his “Eka patni vrata” and proved that he was a husband who never doubted his wife but did his duty alone. We don’t seem to sympathize with Rama as we consider women to be more emotionally affected. But Rama suffered more than Sita in silence and solitude.

There is another side to it too and an interesting one. Generally, women go to their mother’s house for her delivery. Sita was the daughter of the earth. She indeed went to valmiki’s ashram which is, in a way her mother’s place because valmiki, as a sage, emerged from the ant hill which is a part of the earth. Sita also emerging from the bhoomi, valimiki becomes her maternal side and Sita was rightly sent to her home. And as she wanted she spent her whole pregnancy in the ashram with positive vibrations all round, Rama fulfilled that wish too.

In the next occasion, Rama again asks Sita to prove herself when she comes to return Lava and Kusha to Rama. This must be considered as a fitting end to Sita’s avatar. IT was time for her to go back from where she came. Every Avatar has its own kind of end. For example, Krishna was shot by a hunter to mark the end of his avataram. In the same way, Rama saw to it that Mahalakshmi went to her abode before he retires to vaikuntam after his time in the earth.

So, Rama was dharma incarnate and what he did was always right. Not to blame him and make this as a topic for debates.


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Why Rama Acted Thus

Rama's Act Justified

Why Did Rama Act Thus?

When we read Ramayana, we come across few acts of Rama which looks as though he acted in the wrong way. And there are always a few people who wait to find fault with out religion, our itihasas and puranas. As devout Hindus, we must always look to find answers for acts of GOD. Before we find answers, we must accept that whatever done by HIM MUST be to the good and with reason. With this mental attitude, we are bound to find satisfactory answers.

In one of my last posts, the reason for Rama killing Vaali in hiding was explained, the act of Krishna marrying 16000 ladies was elaborated. For those who missed it can find it here: http://lahariguru.blogspot.in/2013/06/rama-and-krishna-get-your-facts-right.html.
In this post I would like to elaborate on a specific act of Rama.

Why did Rama ask Sita to do agni pravesha after getting released from Rvana?

This is a famous accusation that we all do in general that Rama was very rude in asking Sita to enter into fire before accepting her back. How unjust and heartless can he be? Sita was longing to see HIM and he blatantly refused to take her as she was. Many acharyas and gurus have written bhasyam to the ramayanam. 

The reason is this.
Ravana had all the planets and devas under his control. Indra, Vayu, Agni, Varuna, Rahu, Ketu, Shani etc etc were all under his torturous rule. Agni was saddened at his plight. That Agni who was respected in rituals and Yagas was treated badly and was used as a cooking tool to cook for Ranava’s kitchen. HE had to deal with meat and flesh every day. It was years since he was taken as a prime person for the yagas. He felt extremely bad that his purity was hampered.  He therefore approached Sita and requested that she cleans him. Her very touch would give back to him his lost glory and purity. Sita who is mercy incarnate, telepathically informed this to Rama. One would term it as pride if Rama openly revealed Agni’s desire that Sita would purify him by touching him. Rama therefore asked Sita to show her purity to the world by entering Agni. Rama knew Sita's purity. There was no need for an additional proof. In order to purify Agni, he acted thus.

Even if we think of a normal being, no man would take his wife as is when she has lived with another man for a year or so. Rama at no point in his avatar revealed or acted to show that he was Vishnu’s incarnation. He acted just like how an ordinary man would act thereby purifying agni too.
An interesting comparison between Rama and Krishna in my next blog…

Ram Ram

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Interesting facts in Ramayana

Interesting Facts in Ramayana


All of us know that janaka is the name of Seetha's father. But Janaka is actually the name given to the clan. The name of Seetha's father was Seeradwaja Janaka. He was a great scholar, a king, had attained mastery over upanishads and veda. He had studied under the great yagnvalkya. He ruled the kingdom of videha from its capital Mithila. Hence Seetha is also called Vaidehi and Mythili. Seetha, ocourse, was found in the earth when Janaka was ploughing the land. She is therefore the daughter of Mother earth. But since, Janaka grew her up as his own daughter, she is known as Janaka's daughter.

His wife was Sunayana and had two daughters _ Seetha and Urmila. Sita married Rama and Urmila married Lakshmana. He had a brother by name Kushadwaja. Kushadwaja had two daughters - Mandavi an Shrutakirti who married Bharatha and Shatrugna respectively.

Do you know how Dasharatha got his name?

Dasharatha was a very great king known for his valour and archery. He was sometimes invited by Indra himself for a war with the asuras. He could fight in 10 directions at a time. When he went to the heavns to help indra, the asuras would banish and would try to deceive the devas through maya and magic. But dasharatha could fight in all the directions simultaneously and win the war for the devas. Since his chariot could turn in 10 directions at a time, he was known as Dasharatha (one who could turn his chariot in 10 directions at the same time).

Who built a highchair with his tail?

All of us know that Hanuman went in search of Seetha. He crossed the ocean and had seetha's darshan too. But he was trapped by Indrajit, Ravana's son and was taken to Ravana's court. There he advised Ravana to mend his ways and return Sita to Rama. This advise was anyway ignored. When the war between Rama and Ravana was inevitable, Rama gave one last chance to Ravana. He sent Angada, the son of Vali as a messenger to Ravana. When Angada went to Ravana's court, Ravana did not have the courtesy to even offer a seat to a messenger. Angada then, as a show of his power, made a high chair with his own tail and sat at a position higher than Ravana's seat. Many of them think it was Hanuman who made a chair of his tail. But it was actually, Angada who did this act.

More in next


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Stories less told - Rsayasrnga


Rshyasrnga was the son of a sage called Vibandaka. While the birth of Rshyasrnga itself is very interesting, we will dwell more with his life than his birth.

Rshyasrnga was entirely brought up by his father Vibandaka. He had the body of a human but with deer horns. He grew up in a forest. The forest in which he grew did not have any female animals. So, he absolutely had no idea of a woman at all. His father was a single parent as his mother was a damsel in the heaven. He learnt the Vedas and Upanishads to perfection and was a bramhachari to the core – pure and unpolluted by desire. His father took utmost care not to mention ladies to his son so that he will be able to maintain his purity and have an uncontaminated mind. Women, Wine, Welath are the three forces that make a man lusty and wicked. Wine and wealth were out of question for a Brahmin boy. So, he made sure that Rshyasrnga did have the knowledge of a lady at all. 

All of us know that Dasharatha had only four sons but little do we know that he had a daughter too. Her name was Shanti. Dasharatha longed for a son. His friend Romapada was ruling Angadesha and wanted to have a daughter. He requested Dasharatha and shanti was given to Romapada as a gift. Unfortunately, when the girl Shanti stepped on Angadesha, it stopped raining and people were suffering. When Romapada went to the astrologers and was told that he had cheated a Brahmin once and hence the land of devoid of brahmanaas. Since it was the treta yuga, and there were no Brahmins to perform yagna, it stopped raining and people were suffering. The only solution was to bring Rshyasrnga to his land. If that sage, who is purity personified came to Angadesha and married his daughter Shanti, all other Brahmins would follow him in quest of knowledge and rain would again pour. 

Bringing Rshyasrnga was not an easy one as his father was always on guard. The king called out to people who were willing to go and bring Rshyasrnga. But none wanted to become the target of Vibhandaka’s curse. There was one female prostitute who was willing to sacrifice for the country. She went into the forest along with many other ladies They wore rudrakshaas, dressed up beautifully like rishis and entered the forest. Vibandaka was drawn by the devas for some help and when he was away from the ashram, the ladies entered it and tried to befriend Rshyasrnga. They introduced themselves as rishis and tried to take part in the yagna conducted by the young sage. The young Rshyasrnga was attracted to these pretty ladies. He was awed by their beauty and structure. He did not know that lust and kaama had entered him. He wondered who they were as his father had never mentioned about them while teaching the vedas and Upanishads. They decided to spend some time there and Rshyasrnga was happy in their company. Slowly, they drew him and requested him to come to angadesha and marry the king’s daughter. He did not even know what a marriage was. He went with them and was given a detailed account of marriage, its rituals and its importance. He agreed to marry Shanti and it was solemnised. 

When Vibhandaka came back, he was enraged and felt deceived. He went to angadesha and went on to cruse the king and his kingdom. The king romapada said,”please do not curse the kingdom, if you do so, your son will be held responsible for this as he is the king now” Vibhadaka had no choice but laid the condition that Rshayasrnga would return after the birth of a son.

Meanwhile, Dasharatha who wanted to conduct a putrakamesti yaga, was advised by Vasishta to invite Rshyasrnga to conduct it. When the para brahma itself is going to take the form of Rama, it is only justified that a sage like rsayasrnga conduct the yagna.

As per the request of dasharatha, Rshyasrnga came to ayodhya and conducted the putra kamesti yaga. And out of the yaga came a yagna purusha. He had a pot full of sweet rice which was distributed to the queens – Kausalya, keikeyi and sumitra. And we all know the Rama was born to Kausalya.

It could be informative to you that adisehsa was born as lakshmana, the sudrashana chakra as bharatha and the panchajanyam (vishnu’s conch) came as shatrugna. In Ramayana each character is a deva in the heaven. All wanted to participate in the lord’s leela and each one was born as some character in the Ramayana. 

We all know the story of Rama. An incarnate of dharma and justice. Reading or listening to ramayanam everyday gives us the bhakti, gnanam and vairagyam that ultimately leads us to moksha. For those who read or listen to the ramayanam will be protected for generations to come. This is the promise of Ramayanam